Tag Archives: Oregon

Oregon Gov. Says She Will Refuse Trump’s Call To Deploy State Guardsmen To Border

(DCNF) Democratic Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced Wednesday that she will refuse President Donald Trump’s call to send National Guard forces to protect the southern border.

Brown announced on Twitter that she will not listen to Trump or the federal government if asked to send Oregon guard troops to the Mexico border, saying she is “deeply troubled by Trump’s plan to militarize our border.”

The Democratic governor added that she has not been contacted by Trump or any federal officials to send forces to the border, but that if she were, she would refuse. She says Trump’s actions would distract her troops from the president’s “troubles in Washington.”

Brown’s statement comes after Trump announced Tuesday that the US military will be used to guard the US-Mexico border.

“We are going to be guarding our border with our military. That’s a big step,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “We cannot have people flowing into our country illegally, disappearing, and by the way never showing up for court.”

Written by Henry Rodgers: Follow Henry Rodgers On Twitter



This article was republished with permission from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Police: Casings from Bullets Allegedly Fired at Finicum While Exiting Truck Vanished

New findings by law enforcement officials suggest that an FBI agent on the scene of the fatal shooting of Bundy-affiliated protester LaVoy Finicum during a Jun. 26 felony stop might have fired two shots that were not reported, and agents on the scene might have disposed of bullet casings to cover them up.

According to The Oregonian, investigators believe that the shots were fired approximately at the moment at which LaVoy Finicum was exiting his truck with his hands up, prior to when he appears to reach into his jacket and is shot by two Oregon State Police troopers. The above-embedded slow-motion video shows the moment at which investigators believe the shots were fired.

Deschutes County Sheriff Shane Nelson and Malheur County District Attorney Dan Norri, who investigated the incident, concluded that the Oregon State Police officers were justified in shooting Finicum, but also announced that they believe that an FBI agent took two unreported shots and then lied about it. The U.S. Department of Justice has subsequently launched a criminal investigation into the conduct of the FBI agents on the scene.

[RELATED: VIDEO: Cellphone Footage Details LaVoy Finicum Traffic Stop, Shooting]

The Oregonian’s Les Zaitz wrote, “A state trooper later described to investigators seeing two rifle casings in the area where the [FBI] agents were posted. Detectives tasked with collecting evidence didn’t find the casings, police reports indicate.

He added, “FBI aerial surveillance video shows that before the detectives could get there, the FBI agents searched the area with flashlights and then huddled, according to law enforcement sources who have seen the video. The group then broke and one agent appeared to bend over twice and pick up something near where the two shots likely were taken.

Police reports indicate that detectives showed up to collect evidence around 90 minutes after the moment in the surveillance video in which the FBI agent appeared to pick items up from the ground.

[RELATED: Bundy Family Claims Protestor was Unarmed, had Hands Up When Killed by FBI]

All of the FBI agents on the scene that day claimed that they did not take any shots. A state trooper said he had fired three shots while the truck was speeding towards police and two more at Finicum as he was reaching into his jacket after he had exited the vehicle. Police inventory records show that the trooper was missing five rounds after the incident, apparently confirming his story. A fourth bullet hole in the truck came from a different angle of trajectory suggesting that an FBI agent had fired the shot. Investigators believe a second shot, which missed Finicum and did not strike the truck, was also fired by an FBI agent.


Law enforcement officials say that the FBI agents’ weapons and ammo were not inventoried on the scene that day because they claimed not to have fired any rounds.

FBI special agent in charge Greg Bretzing announced at a press conference last week, “The question of who fired these shots has not been resolved.” He declined to provide further comment noting that the federal investigation is still underway.

Follow Barry Donegan on Facebook and Twitter.

VIDEO: Cellphone Footage Details LaVoy Finicum Traffic Stop, Shooting

Following the Department of Justice’s announcement that Oregon State Troopers were justified in shooting and killing Oregon protestor Robert “LaVoy” Finicum on Jan. 26, cellphone video was released which gave additional insight to the events leading up to the shooting.

The video, which was released by The Oregonian on Tuesday, was taken by Shawna Cox, 59, one of the passengers in the truck Finicum was driving. Other passengers included Ryan Bundy, 43, Ryan Payne, 32, and Victoria Sharp, 18. Both Finicum, 54, and the passengers, were part of a group of protesters occupying the Malheur Wildlife Refuge headquarters in Burns, Oregon.

The DoJ claimed Finicum was struck by three bullets fired by Oregon State Troopers after he exited the truck during an encounter with the FBI and reached for a gun at his side. While the FBI released footage from a plane flying over the area at the time of the shooting, it did not include any type of audio.

[RELATED: FBI Agents Under Criminal Investigation in LaVoy Finicum Shooting]

The cellphone video gives the first glimpse with audio into Finicum’s deadly encounter with federal officials. It starts with a traffic stop, when the protesters are pulled over by Oregon State Police while traveling along U.S. Highway 395.

“The sheriff is waiting for us, so you do as you damn well please, but I’m not going anywhere,” said Finicum, leaning out of the driver-side window of the truck. “Here I am, right there. Right there, put a bullet through it. You understand? I’m going to go meet the sheriff. Back down or you kill me now.”

The officer’s speech is not clear in the video, and Finicum continues yelling, “If you want my blood on your hands, get a gun, because we’ve got people to see and places to go.”

The passengers in the car begin to question whether they should flee the scene, and they note that a second vehicle of protestors behind them is also being pulled over, and communicating with the State Troopers.

While waiting, Cox says, “We have no service here,” and another passenger says, “We should never have stopped.” They question whether the officers will shoot out their tires if they leave the scene, and then all passengers duck down, and Finicum begins to drive away.

As the truck progress down the road, it enters a blockade set up by Oregon State Police and the FBI, and Finicum veers to the left, ands drives off of the road into a snow bank.

Finicum gets out of the vehicle with his hands up, and yells, “Go ahead and shoot me!”

Immediately surrounded by officers, Finicum continues to yell, “Shoot me, shoot me!” He puts his hand on his left side, and then the State Troopers surrounding him fire several consecutive shots.

While Finicum is lying in the snow and the other protesters are huddled in the vehicle, one begins to open the backdoor on the driver side, and then another round is fired at the car. He closed the door as another two rounds are fired.

Following the announcement that the DoJ has ruled that the Finicum shooting was justified, LaVoy’s Finicum’s wife, Jeanette Finicum, released a statement Tuesday claiming that the police are bringing forward “selective evidence.”

“This was not a traffic stop,” Jeanette Finicum said. It was an ambush with a roadblock placed on a blind curve along a lonely stretch of highway. I am told that in law enforcement and prosecuting circles this is called a ‘Dead man’s blockade,’ and is designed to allow a ‘kill stop’ which is illegal.”

An autopsy of Finicum reportedly showed that he was struck by three bullets from behind: one pierced his heart, and two struck his shoulder. Police claimed they found a loaded 9mm. semiautomatic handgun on Finicum’s body.

[RELATED: Bundy Family Claims Protestor was Unarmed, had Hands Up When Killed by FBI]

Jeanette Finicum said she does not believe her husband was reaching for a gun when he was shot. Instead, she argued that he was reaching to his side because he was reacting to a gunshot wound to the leg.

“The FBI said Finicum was shot after reaching for a gun,” Jeanette Finicum said. We reject that statement. The FBI’s aerial video was of poor quality, edited and provided no audio. Our family asserts that he was shot with both hands up; he was not reaching for anything at the time of the first shot. He was walking with his hands in the air, a symbol of surrender. When he reached down to his left hip he was reacting to the pain of having been shot. 

Federal officials announced Tuesday that two of the rounds fired, which did not contribute to Finicum’s death but were aimed at the vehicle, were not reported by the FBI. As a result, both the agent who fired the rounds and four other agents who are suspected of helping him cover it up, are under criminal investigation for failing for report the gunshots.

Follow Rachel Blevins on Facebook and Twitter.

FBI Agents Under Criminal Investigation in LaVoy Finicum Shooting

Federal officials announced Tuesday that while they justified the shooting of Robert “LaVoy” Finicum when a group of protesters was apprehended in January, FBI agents involved in the encounter are being investigated for firing shots that were not reported.

Finicum, 54, was part of a group of protestors occupying the Malheur Wildlife Refuge headquarters in Burns, Oregon. He was shot and killed on Jan. 26, after the FBI confronted the protestors’ vehicle while it was traveling along U.S. Highway 395.

Following an investigation into the shooting by the Justice Department, Malheur County District Attorney Dan Norris said Tuesday that all six of the shots fired by Oregon State Troopers at Finicum were justified.

However, officials also announced that one FBI agent is suspected of lying about firing twice at Finicum and four other agents are suspected of helping him cover up the lie. While the bullets reportedly did not contribute to Finicum’s death, the five agents involved are now under criminal investigation.

[RELATED: One Dead, Five in Custody After Shots Fired During Confrontation Between Oregon Protestors and FBI]

The FBI released footage from a plane flying above, which showed Finicum exiting the driver’s seat of the vehicle, after it ran off the road when it encountered a blockade set up by the FBI.

Finicum exited the vehicle with his hands up, and was immediately surrounded by FBI agents. He appeared to collapse moments after he lowered his hand to his pocket. While the FBI claim Finicum was reaching for a 9 mm. semi-automatic handgun, there is speculation that Finicum was reacting to a gunshot to the left.

[RELATED: Bundy Family Claims Protestor was Unarmed, had Hands Up When Killed by FBI]

Officials did not release the names of the Oregon State Troopers or the FBI agents who were involved in the Finicum shooting, but investigators reportedly said they “intend to release police reports, interview transcripts, photographs, the autopsy report and new video to allow the public to evaluate the police findings in Finicum’s death.”

[UPDATE: Cellphone Footage Details LaVoy Finicum Traffic Stop, Shooting]

Follow Rachel Blevins on Facebook and Twitter.

Alleged Bundy Ranch Resister Jerry DeLemus Arrested on Federal Charges

New Hampshire Tea Party activist Jerry DeLemus was arrested Thursday by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Court records cited by The New Hampshire Union Leader note that DeLemus faces 9 federal charges including obstruction of justice, attempting to impede or injure a federal law enforcement officer, conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, threatening a federal law enforcement officer, and an assortment of firearms-related offences. The charges stem from his alleged participation in a 2014 armed protest in support of Cliven Bundy’s dispute over cattle grazing rights with the Bureau of Land Management in Nevada.

The indictment lists DeLemus as one of eight defendants who allegedly “planned, organized, led, and/or participated as gunmen in the assault, all in order to threaten, intimidate, and extort the officers into abandoning approximately 400 head of cattle that were in their lawful care and custody.

[RELATED: Oregon Standoff: Cliven Bundy Arrested, Occupiers Say They Will Leave Refuge]

The charges, which name DeLemus as a “mid-level leader and organizer of the conspiracy,” appear to stem from an April 12, 2014 incident in which, according to CNN, BLM agents released cattle that they had seized from Cliven Bundy in what the bureaucracy called an effort to “avoid violence and help restore order,” citing “escalating tensions.”

DeLemus is set to be arraigned today at the U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire in Concord.

Earlier this year, DeLemus had also reportedly traveled to Oregon and participated in the Bundy-associated armed protest against the BLM at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

Jerry DeLemus, who serves as co-chairman for the New Hampshire chapter of Veterans for Donald Trump, is the husband of N.H. State Rep. Susan DeLemus (R-Rochester).

According to The Portsmouth Patch, former N.H. GOP chair Jack Kimball, who claimed to have spoken to Rep. Susan DeLemus about the arrest, wrote on Facebook, “She said that the FBI just rolled up with lots of vehicles and Agents who were in tactical gear. They forced their way into Jerry Delemus and Sue’s condo with weapons drawn and arrested Jerry and took him away.

Kimball characterized Jerry DeLemus as “a good and Patriotic Marine” who “is now being prosecuted for standing up for Liberty.” He called for “New Hampshire patriots” to “protest this tyranny in the most visible way possible.

[RELATED: Exclusive Interview: Sheriff Mack on the Oregon Standoff and What the Media Isn’t Reporting]

According to the progressive-leaning New Hampshire political blog Miscellany Blue, the FBI had reportedly previously arranged a February meeting to talk with Jerry DeLemus at a restaurant in public, but pulled out citing fears for agents’ safety.

Jerry DeLemus wrote a Facebook post after the cancelled February meeting but before Thursday’s arrest, which read, “I told the FBI agent if it was his intention to arrest me I would go peacefully and I was completely unarmed.

I was assured they weren’t looking to arrest me and I inquired if they were going to fly me to Oregon or Nevada and he said no. All of the intrigue coming from their side is unsettling. … I am not lawless and have acted righteously regarding Oregon and Nevada,” DeLemus’ Facebook post continued.

DeLemus’ arrest comes amid rumors that arrest warrants have been drawn up for a number of participants in the two Bundy-associated armed protests.

Follow Barry Donegan on Facebook and Twitter.

Oregon Standoff: Cliven Bundy Arrested, Occupiers Say They Will Leave Refuge

After the four remaining protesters at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge headquarters in Burns, Oregon, spent Wednesday evening on live stream while the FBI surrounded the compound, they have reportedly agreed to leave peacefully Thursday morning.

The father of two of the group’s leaders, who were taken into FBI custody on Jan. 26, was also arrested by the FBI after he flew into the Portland International Airport Wednesday night.

The Oregonian reported that Cliven Bundy, 74, was booked into the downtown Multnomah County jail at 10:54 p.m.” on the charge of conspiring to interfere with a federal officer, which is the same charge his sons Ammon and Ryan are facing.

Cliven Bundy’s charges, which also include weapons charges, stem from a 2014 standoff with the Bureau of Land Management on his own ranch in Nevada over grazing rights, which ended after federal agents were countered by about 1,000 armed protesters.

Prior to Bundy’s arrival in Portland, the “Bundy Ranch” Facebook page posted a status Wednesday announcing that he was on his way to the Harney County Resource Center in Burns, and calling for Americans to “wake up.”


Four hours after the first status was posted, that page posted an update claiming that Bundy “just landed in Portland,” and was immediately “surrounded by SWAT and DETAINED.”

The page then noted that its users were “just in contact with the final four on the ground and all is quiet.”

The four remaining occupiers at the refuge, Sean Anderson, 47, and Sandy Anderson, 48, of Riggins, Idaho, David Fry, 27, of Blanchester, Ohio, and Jeff Banta, 46, of Elko, Nevada, all face charges of “conspiracy to impede federal officials.”

The remaining four said they would turn themselves in Thursday morning, after FBI agents surrounded the compound Wednesday night. The tense standoff was broadcast over live stream.

As of 8:40 p.m. PST, the FBI stated that they would not make any moves, and would wait for Rev. Franklin Graham and Nevada State Assemblywoman Michelle Fiore to negotiate the protestors’ surrender at 8 a.m. PST.


Live stream of standoff:


LIVE UPDATE: FBI Conducting Siege of Oregon Wildlife Refuge

The FBI has stated as of 8:40 PM PST that they will not make any aggressive moves toward the four remaining protesters tonight and they will allow Rev. Franklin Graham and Nevada State Assemblywoman Michelle Fiore to negotiate the surrender tomorrow at 8:00 AM.

Update 2/11 9:28 am est: Oregon Standoff: Cliven Bundy Arrested, Occupiers Say They Will Leave Refuge

Update 2/11 2:24 pm est: All occupiers have surrendered.

This is a live stream from inside the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Burns, Oregon. According to those on the phone, 28,000 people are listening. The FBI is reportedly refusing to talk to Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore who is attempting to resolve this without bloodshed.  Fiore claims she just landed at the Portland airport and is on her way to Burns Oregon to act as a negotiator for those inside the facility.

FBI has surrounded the facility and is reportedly less than 50 yards from the door.  They were at one point speaking over loudspeakers.

Rev. Franklin Graham, who was supposed to arrive tomorrow to negotiate surrender has reportedly called in to the line.  Rev. Graham says that he has been told that he will be allowed to walk those armed protesters out Thursday morning at 7:00 A.M.

Voices on the phone say that the FBI agents on the ground are saying that no one will be allowed on the refuge until after the surrender.


FBI Releases Video of LaVoy Finicum’s Fatal Shooting

BURNS, OR— The Oregon standoff became deadly this week with the death of Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, and some supporters are calling his death a “blood sacrifice.”

While Ammon Bundy and his supporters were traveling to a meeting in the community of John Day, they encountered an FBI-led operation to apprehend them and end the Oregon refuge standoff.

In the video released by the FBI, it appears Finicum walked away from his vehicle with his hands up. Moments later, he was shot.

According to the FBI, Finicum reached twice for a pocket that police say contained a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun before they shot him. (Read full FBI statement here.)

“Actions have consequences. As the video clearly shows, it was a reckless action that resulted in consequences you have seen here today,” said Greg Bretzing, special agent in charge of the FBI in Portland.

An eyewitness, Victoria Sharp, tells a different story that contradicts the FBI’s statement.

According to Sharp, Finicum was shot with his hands up, and he only reached for his side reacting to being shot.

“He’s like, ‘just shoot me then, just shoot me’— and they did, they shot him dead. They shot him right there, he was just walking— I saw it. I swear to God, he was just walking with his hands in the air,” said Sharp.

Listen to Sharp’s account here.

The FBI has not released any audio of the confrontation and has not commented on Sharp’s statements.

According to OregonLive, “five people involved in the traffic stop were arrested while two were questioned and released. Those arrested were: Ammon Bundy, 40, of Emmett, Idaho; his brother, Ryan Bundy, 43, of Bunkerville, Nevada; Ryan W. Payne, 32, of Anaconda, Montana; Brian Cavalier, 44, of Bunkerville, Nevada; and Shawna J. Cox, 59, of Kanab, Utah.”

Joshua Cook recently interviewed Sheriff Richard Mack, who said he asked Ammon Bundy to peacefully withdraw from Oregon. Sheriff Mack told Cook during that interview, “you never know what this corrupt government is going to do.”

The FBI’s statement makes it clear that the standoff is not over.

Ammon Bundy Calls for Fellow Protestors to ‘Stand Down, Go Home’

After he was taken into FBI custody Tuesday, Ammon Bundy released a statement Wednesday calling for fellow protestors occupying the Malheur Wildlife Refuge headquarters in Burns, Oregon, to “stand down” and to “go home.”

Bundy, who has acted as the leader of the group since it began occupying the refuge headquarters, was arrested on charges of “conspiracy to impede federal officials” along with four other protestors when they were stopped by the FBI and Oregon State Police while traveling on the highway.

[One Dead, Five in Custody After Shots Fired During Confrontation Between Oregon Protestors and FBI]

LeVoy Finnicum, a spokesperson for the group, was shot and killed during the stop. Ammon Bundy’s brother Ryan Bundy was also wounded. The FBI has yet to say why shots were fired.

In a statement released by his attorney, Mike Arnold, Bundy began by addressing Finnicum’s death, and saying that “his love for this country ran deep through the blood he gave.”

[pull_quote_center]First I want to address my beloved friend, LeVoy Finnicum. LeVoy is one of the greatest men and greatest patriots I’ve ever seen. His love for this country ran deep through the blood he gave yesterday. And I mourn for him and I mourn for his family. I’m praying fervently for you in every prayer.[/pull_quote_center]

Bundy went on to say that he is asking the federal government to allow the people at the refuge to go home without being prosecuted,” and he urged the protestors to “stand down” and to “go home.”

He claimed the protestors who were taken into FBI custody would use the opportunity of “being in the system” to answer constitutional questions regarding the “rights of statehood and the limits on federal property ownership.”

[pull_quote_center]We’ll have more to say later, but right now I’m asking the federal government to allow the people at the refuge to go home without being prosecuted. To those remaining at the refuge, I love you. Let us take this fight from here. Please stand down. Please stand down. Go home and hug your families. This fight is ours for now in the courts. Please go home. Being in the system we’re going to take this opportunity to answer the questions on article 1 section 8 clause 17 of the United States Constitution regarding the rights of statehood and the limits on federal property ownership. Thank you and God bless America. .[/pull_quote_center]

The group of protestors initially began occupying the Malheur Wildlife Refuge headquarters on Jan. 2, in support of two ranchers who were forced to serve mandatory minimum sentences after they were convicted of arson on federal lands.

During a press conference Wednesday, FBI agent Greg Bretzing said it is “the actions and choices of the armed occupiers that have led us to where we are today.”

“The armed occupiers have been given ample opportunities to leave,” Bretzing said. “Instead these individuals have chosen to threaten and intimidate the America they profess to love, and through their criminal actions to bring these consequences upon themselves.”

[RELATED: Bundy Family Claims Protestor war Unarmed, had Hands Up When Killed by FBI]

Prior to releasing the statement asking protestors to leave the refuge, Ammon Bundy reportedly told his wife Lisa that Finnicum was “cold-blood murdered,” and that he “had his hands in the air and said he was unarmed and they shot him.” 

Bundy Family Claims Protestor was Unarmed, had Hands Up When Killed by FBI

The Bundy family claimed Arizona rancher Robert “LaVoy” Finicum was unarmed and had his hands up when he was shot and killed by FBI agents during a confrontation Tuesday near Burns, Oregon.

Finicum, 55, was part of the group of protestors occupying the Malheur Wildlife Refuge headquarters in Burns. At least eight others, including protest leaders Ammon and Ryan Bundy, were arrested after the FBI and Oregon State police confronted them while they were traveling along U.S. Highway 395.

Cliven Bundy posted an audio message on the Bundy Ranch Facebook page Tuesday night claiming that his son Ammon told two family members that he was arrested, his brother Ryan was shot in the arm, and Finicum was murdered in “cold-blood.”

“LaVoy has been cold-blood murdered,” Ammon Bundy reportedly told his wife Lisa. “He had his hands in the air and said he was unarmed and they shot him.”

Bundy’s nephew, Steve Bundy, also told the Las Vegas Sun that Finicum was “cold-blood murdered,” and he said there would be “retribution.”

There has to be retribution,” Steve Bundy said. “But we’re not going to ruin the element of surprise.”

Arianna Finicum Brown, 26, one of LaVoy Finicum’s 11 children, told The Oregonian that her father was a “good man, through and through,” and said, “He would never ever want to hurt somebody, but he does believe in defending freedom and he knew the risks involved.”

Finicum was a spokesperson for, and a member of, the the group of protesters that has been occupying the Malheur Wildlife Refuge headquarters for the last month, in support of two ranchers who were forced to serve mandatory minimum sentences after they were convicted of arson on federal lands.

Five of the protesters were arrested on felony charges of “conspiracy to impede federal officers” Tuesday after FBI agents stopped a vehicle traveling on Highway 395 from Burns to John Day. The protestors included Ammon Bundy, 40; Ryan Bundy, 43; Brian Cavalier, 44; Shawna Cox, 59; and Ryan Payne, 32.

Joseph Donald O’Shaughnessy, 45, and Peter Santilli, 50 were also reportedly taken into FBI custody separately in Burns, along with Jon Eric Ritzheimer, 32, in Arizona.

Following the confrontation, the FBI has not released details as to why the men were stopped, or why a shooting broke out, but it has set up checkpoints around the wildlife refuge.

One of the remaining protestors at the refuse headquarters, Jason Patrick, told Reuters that protesters would continue to occupy the refuge until there was a “redress of grievances.”

“I’ve heard ‘peaceful resolution’ for weeks now and now there’s a cowboy who is my friend who is dead,” Patrick said, “so prepare for the peaceful resolution.”

Patrick also compared Finicum’s death to the death of Tamir Rice, an unarmed 12-year-old who was shot by Cleveland police in 2014. The officers responsible were not charged.

“The government can kill who they want for whatever reason they want with impunity,” Patrick said.

[UPDATE: Ammon Bundy Calls for Fellow Protestors to ‘Stand Down, Go Home’]

One Dead, Five in Custody After Shots Fired During Confrontation Between Oregon Protestors and FBI

One man is dead and five in police custody after the group occupying the Malheur Wildlife Refuge headquarters in Burns, Oregon, reportedly exchanged gunfire with the FBI and the Oregon State Police during a highway traffic stop Tuesday.

Oregon Live reported that Ryan Bundy, 43, suffered a gunshot wound, and was taken into custody along with Ammon Bundy, 40, Ryan W. Payne, 32, Brian Cavalier, 44, and Shawna J. Cox, 59 on felony charges of “conspiracy to impede federal officers.”

KATU News reported that “there was some sort of engagement involving shots fired” on Highway 395 around 5 p.m. between Burns and John Day, where the group was traveling for a community meeting.

The group of protesters initially occupied the Malheur Wildlife Refuge headquarters in early January, in support of two ranchers who were forced to serve mandatory minimum sentences after they were convicted of arson on federal lands.

Prior to the occupation, Ammon Bundy, the son of rancher Cliven Bundy of Nevada, asked supporters to come out to the refuge and encouraged “patriots” to “stand up not stand down.”

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown wrote two letters to the federal government Wednesday asking for help removing the group, whom she referred to as “armed criminals.”

[UPDATE: Bundy Family Claims Protestor was Unarmed, had Hands Up When Killed by FBI]

Oregon Gov. Asks Feds To Boot Militiamen From Wildlife Refuge

By Chris White – Oregon Gov. Kate Brown wrote two letters to the federal government Wednesday asking for help removing the group of militiamen she calls “armed criminals” from a remote Oregon wildlife refuge.

The letters were obtained by Oregon Public Broadcasting and published to Twitter. In a letter sent to the White House, Brown claims “the harm that is being done to the citizens of Harney County by the occupation, and the necessity that this unlawful occupation end peacefully and without further delay from federal law enforcement.”

The governor’s letter to Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey and U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch claims the militiamen are intimidating the residents of Harney County. She even suggests the group appears to be itching for a fight.

“The harm being done to the innocent men, women and children in Harney County is real and manifest,” the letter reads. “With each passing day, tensions increase exponentially.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Brown argued at a news conference that the militia’s occupation of the Malheur National Wildfire Refuge is costing the state $100,000 a week, noting the “lawless” group is running amok.

“This situation is absolutely intolerable and it must be resolved immediately,” Brown told reporters at the conference, adding the White House and the FBI need to do something about the occupation. “The very fabric of this community is being ripped apart.”

“This spectacle of lawlessness must end,” Brown said.

Read the letters below.

Obama Letter

Lynch/Comey Letter

Follow Chris on Facebook and Twitter.



Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contactlicensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Exclusive Interview: Sheriff Mack on the Oregon Standoff and What the Media Isn’t Reporting



Truth In Media’s Joshua Cook spoke with Sheriff Richard Mack Wednesday about the Hammond family of Oregon, whose conflicts with the federal government led to the widely-reported occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge headquarters in Burns, Oregon.

[Read more: Armed Protesters Occupy Oregon Wildlife Refuge Headquarters]

While the standoff— in which Ammon Bundy, son of Cliven Bundy, joined with other individuals to occupy the refuge headquarters to protest the re-sentencing of 73-year-old Dwight Hammond and his son, 46-year-old Steven Hammond— has been covered by news outlets nationwide, Mack provided details about the conflict between the federal government and the Hammonds that the mainstream media has largely avoided discussing, and also condemned the fact that the Hammonds were charged with arson in the first place.

[RELATED: DONEGAN: Ore. Protest Reaction Shows War on Terror Is Tearing America Apart]

While Mack said he does not agree with Ammon Bundy’s actions, he told Cook that the media is wrong to “brand and label Ammon Bundy as a nut extremist.” Mack said that he worries the current standoff may escalate into another Waco or Ruby Ridge because of the federal government’s desire to save face, adding that government orders were given to kill protesters during the standoff between the Bureau of Land Management and Cliven Bundy in Bunkerville, Nevada in 2014.

Listen to Cook’s interview with Sheriff Mack to learn more about what is really happening in Oregon.


Annabelle Bamforth contributed to this report.

DONEGAN: Ore. Protest Reaction Shows War on Terror Is Tearing America Apart

As around a dozen armed protesters gathered at the unoccupied Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in rural Oregon, angry over the federal government’s resentencing of local ranchers Dwight and Steven Hammond in an arson case related to locally-controversial Bureau of Land Management regulations on land use, the mainstream media cast aside its journalistic responsibility and instead took on the more profitable role of a fight promoter.

The sum of the deceptive click-bait headlines swirling through the news cycle painted the event as that of a 150-man armed militia storming a “federal building” at gunpoint and seizing it, a choice of words that seemed to de-emphasize the fact that the protest was taking place at a small, unoccupied welcome center to a wildlife refuge with no one at the time under any imminent danger and instead called to mind an invasion of a federal building like the one targeted in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

[RELATED: Armed Protesters Occupy Oregon Wildlife Refuge Headquarters]

Consequently, the Twitter hashtag #YallQaeda emerged, oddly implying that this distinctly western dispute has something to do with the deep south where the word “y’all” is a part of the common vernacular, with some social media users rallying behind it and implying or directly stating that the protesters are domestic terrorists.

To be fair, some of the commentators were equipped with good points: it is undeniably true that people of color face disproportionately higher rates of police abuse. It is undeniably the case that police reforms need to take place across the country to ensure that African Americans, for example, are not assumed to be a threat to law enforcement just on the basis of race.

It is also certainly the case that the War on Terror has driven America to a hysterical level of suspicion towards Muslims, and this has created a civil rights crisis. In setting aside the classification “terrorist” as distinct from all other alleged crimes in how the federal government’s due process rights apply, Muslims have been executed without a trial (in the case of then 16-year-old Abdulrahman al-Awlaki), denied the right to fly without due process, and detained indefinitely without charges.

However, these are good arguments for ending mandatory minimums in the case of the disproportionate numbers of people of color being incarcerated under the War on Drugs, not an argument for applying mandatory minimums to the Hammond family in the interest of fairness. These are also good arguments for repealing the War on Drugs and the War on Terror and their assaults against the human rights traditions of American jurisprudence, not arguments for strengthening and extending these abuses to additional demographic categories to even the score.

The dream of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement was to extend American freedom and opportunity to everyone, not to expand race-based crackdowns to all Americans.

Conservatives should learn a lesson from what is happening in Oregon. Pastor Martin Niemöller’s poem about the rise of Naziism in Germany specifically — and the erosion of civil liberties more generally — warned, “Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Jew… Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

For every meme a conservative shares on social media characterizing Black Lives Matter protesters as thugs or local Muslims attempting to break ground on a new mosque as terrorists, it must be assumed that there will be an equal and opposite number of people subsequently calling for open carry protesters or pro-lifers to be shot on sight or incarcerated in Guantanamo Bay.

The government could very well referee this conflict by some day giving both sides what they want.

On the other hand, in supporting the application of mandatory minimums to the Hammond family against a judge’s objections and characterizing protesters gathering on federal property and refusing to leave as an insurrection, many left-leaning commentators are by precedent calling for an undoing of the hard work that has been done so far to affect criminal justice reform in this country and are putting future Black Lives Matter protesters who might want to make their point by gathering on federal property and refusing to leave at risk of being victimized by state violence.

Instead of looking for more reasons to define more people as terrorists, all Americans should be working together to restore due process rights. This division among the American people might have been exactly what bin Laden wanted in attacking the U.S. in the first place.

Armed Protesters Occupy Oregon Wildlife Refuge Headquarters

A group of armed protesters have occupied the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Burns, Oregon, in support of two ranchers who are scheduled to begin serving prison sentences on Monday for arson charges.

Dwight Hammond, 73, served three months and his son Steven Hammond, 46, served one year in prison after the two were convicted of arson in 2012 for lighting fires on the refuge in 2001 and 2006. The Hammonds stated that they started the fires to “reduce the growth of invasive plants and protect their property from wildfires.”

While the Hammonds were able to argue in 2012 that the five-year mandatory minimum sentence that usually comes with charges of arson on federal land was “unconstitutional”, Chief U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken ruled in Oct. 2015 that the Hammonds must each serve the mandatory five years.

Ammon Bundy, the son of rancher Cliven Bundy of Nevada, took to the Bundy Ranch Facebook page on Thursday asking supporters to come out to the refuge and encouraged “patriots” to “stand up not stand down.”

“I am wanting to talk to the individual, to the patriot,” Bundy said. “This is not a time to stand down. It is a time to stand up and come to Harney county. We need your help, and we’re asking for it. No matter what your leader says, no matter what they’re saying, you need to draw your own conclusions. You need to get to Burns on the second or before.”

Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward issued a statement Saturday night claiming that following a “peaceful rally” during the day, a group of “outside militants” seized the refuge headquarters, which is federal property managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

After the peaceful rally was completed today, a group of outside militants drove to the Malheur Wildlife Refuge, where they seized and occupied the refuge headquarters,” Ward said. “A collective effort from multiple agencies is currently working on a solution. For the time being please stay away from that area. More information will be provided as it becomes available. Please maintain a peaceful and united front and allow us to work through this situation.”

Also on Saturday night, during a telephone interview from inside the building, brothers Ammon and Ryan Bundy told the Oregonian that they had as many as 100 supporters with them, and they were not looking to hurt anyone. However, they said that they “would not rule out violence if police tried to remove them.” 

“The facility has been the tool to do all the tyranny that has been placed upon the Hammonds,” Ammon Bundy said. “We’re planning on staying here for years, absolutely. This is not a decision we’ve made at the last minute.”

Oregon Shooting Suspect Identified; Obama Calls for Increased Gun Control

Following a reported deadly mass shooting on Thursday at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, the suspect has been identified and President Obama has begun to call for more gun control.

The suspect has been identified as 26-year-old Chris Harper Mercer. Police reported that at least nine people were killed and seven others wounded before the suspect was killed in a shootout with police. Three pistols and an AR-style rifle were reportedly discovered at the scene.

The New York Times described Mercer as a “recluse” and a “withdrawn young man” who lived with this mother. Rosario Espinoza, a former neighbor, told the Times that Mercer’s mother would often complain that Espinoza’s children were playing too loudly and bothering her son.

Another neighbor, Julia Winstead, told the Times that at one point Mercer’s mother went around the neighborhood with a petition asking the landlord to exterminate cockroaches in her apartment because they bothered her son.

“She said, ‘My son is dealing with some mental issues, and the roaches are really irritating him,’” Winstead said. “She said they were going to go stay in a motel. Until that time, I didn’t know she had a son.”


Hours after the shooting, President Obama held a press conference where he said that he believes gun violence is “something we should politicize.” 

“We are not the only country on Earth that has people with mental illnesses who want to do harm to other people,” Obama said. “We are the only country on Earth that sees these kinds of mass shootings every few months.”

Obama went on to criticize opponents of gun control, and said that “what has become routine is the response of those who oppose any kind of common sense gun legislation.”

“Each time this happens I’m going to bring this up,” Obama said. “Each time this happens I am going to say we can actually do something about it.”

At Least 13 Dead, 20 Injured in Shooting at Oregon Community College

UPDATE: Oct. 1, 2015, 6 p.m. Eastern – The local sheriff in Roseburg, Oregon, said that the suspected gunman, a 20-year-old male, was killed during a shootout with police.

UPDATE: 4 p.m. Eastern – Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenbaum said that 13 people are dead and up to 20 others wounded from a shooting at Umpqua Community College Thursday morning. Rosenbaum confirmed that the shooter is dead.

3:50 p.m. Eastern – At least seven people are dead and 20 injured from a shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon on Thursday morning.

KATU-TV reported that local officials confirmed that the shooter “has been ‘neutralized’ and is now in custody,” after shots were fired at Snyder Hall around 10:40 a.m. and multiple patients were found in multiple classrooms.

ATF agents are currently on the scene, and canine teams will be brought in to search for explosives, fire arms casings and ammunition, a spokesman told CNN.

The Associated Press reported that Umpqua Community College college is about 180 miles south of Portland, and has about 3,000 students.

The identity of the shooter has not yet been released.


Oregon Judge May Lose Job For Refusing To Perform Same-Sex Marriages

By Casey Harper – A spokesman for the Oregon judge refusing to marry same-sex couples told The Daily Caller News Foundation the judge may lose his job, though he thinks that is unlikely.

“It could range all the way from dismissal of the complaint up to removal and anything in between,” Oregon judge Vance Day’s spokesman Patrick Korten told TheDCNF. “You could call [removal from office] the nuclear option, highly doubtful.”

Day stopped performing marriages in March and asked his staff to kindly refer couples to other judges. Now he’s under investigation by the Oregon Commission on Judicial Fitness And Disability over whether he is still fit to be a judge. A complaint was filed in June.

Korten said the commission’s conclusions will then go to the court system, and that the commission does not have the final authority to remove Day, if it were to come to that.

Day, former chairman of the Oregon Republican party, received permission from the Oregon Government Ethics Commission Thursday to set up a legal defense fund to pay his legal expenses for the response to the complaint.

Korten pointed out that judges in Oregon are not required to perform marriages and that there are plenty of other judges who could do it instead. A wide range of officials, including state judges, federal judges and county clerks can perform them.

“This is the start of what we’re going to be wrestling with for the next several years,” Korten told TheDCNF. “How are we to resolve the conflict between where same-sex marriage now stands thanks to the Supreme Court and people who have deep and profound objections to it. Where does the line get drawn? Does conscience and religious belief have any value?”

Follow Casey on Twitter and like him on Facebook



Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contactlicensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Oregon Enacts “Right to Try” Law Letting Dying Patients Try Experimental Treatments

Oregon Democratic Governor Kate Brown signed the Oregon Right To Try Act into law last week, thus allowing doctors to prescribe experimental medications and treatments to terminally ill patients. Under the new law, dying patients no longer have to lobby for an exemption from the Food and Drug Administration in order to try medications that are still being tested and have not yet obtained FDA approval.

People fighting for their lives shouldn’t have to fight the government too. Any person who wants to access a promising investigational treatment when they have exhausted standard treatment protocols should have the right to do that,” said Goldwater Institute president Darcy Olsen in comments to KTVZ-TV.

The Goldwater Institute has been pushing for the enactment of “right to try” laws in states across the U.S. with great success. “To say that Right To Try is sweeping the country may be an understatement. In little more than one year the law has been adopted by 24 states,” said Olsen.

The Chicago Tribune notes that Illinois Republican Governor Bruce Rauner just signed similar legislation into law on August 5.

Oregon joins Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wyoming in enacting a law allowing terminally ill patients to try experimental treatments.

According to PBS, Colorado became the first U.S. state to enact such a law in May of 2014.

Tenth Amendment Center national communications director Mike Maharrey praised the sudden rise of “right to try” legislation and criticized FDA policies that complicate terminally ill patients’ ability to try experimental drugs. “FDA regulations that would let somebody die rather than try have got to be some of the most inhumane policies the federal government has ever conceived. Every state should nullify these FDA rules,” said Maharrey.

Twelve additional U.S. states are considering “right to try” bills this year.

Oregon Passes Bill To Cover Community College Tuition For Eligible Residents

Oregon legislators passed a bill this week to cover the community college costs for qualifying state residents. Senate Bill 81, if signed into law by Gov. Kate Brown, would pay for Oregon students’ community college tuition remaining after receiving state or federal aid. Oregon would be the second state to offer such a program following Tennessee.

While described by some as a “free community college” program, there are requirements for applicants to qualify and there is a minimum payment that must be paid by students.

To be eligible, an applicant must be a recent high school graduate or equivalent who has lived Oregon for at least one year. An applicant must apply to community college no later than six months after graduation. The remainder of tuition costs will be covered only for students who first seek federal and state grants. Students are to pay $50 to the community college each term, and they must maintain a 2.5 or better grade point average.

State Sen. Mark Hass (D-Beaverton) said that each of the approximated 70,000 unemployed Oregon residents with no college degree between age 18 and 24 use an estimated $14,000 worth of various social services and aid each year. “A lifetime of food stamps is much more expensive than the annual community college tuition of $3,000,” Hass said in late May. Rep. Tobias Read, (D-Beaverton) made a similar statement, pointing out that “People who simply don’t have a lot of opportunities because of their lack of access [to post-secondary education] are costing this state money in social services and a lack of income taxes generated by their employment.”

Expenditures for the program have been capped at $10 million per year for the state’s two-year budget cycle. Sen. Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose) supported the bill but expressed worry that the program may burden the state’s budget in the future. “I remain deeply concerned that once this bill and its escalating costs come into full effect, it simply is not going to be sustainable,” she said.

If signed into law, the program will begin in the 2016/17 school year.